Friday, 18 July 2014

TRIP INDEX by year

TRIP INDEX – by year

The following lists chronological the foreign birding trips that I have done.  Also included are a few family trips to decent birding locations.  In time I hope to 'blog' them all, and those that have been done are shown in bold with a link.  All the older blogs use scanned slides (or digitised prints of varying quality).  Some of the slides have degraded badly with age.  Some blogs use photos take by those I was with (they are easy to tell as they are significantly better than mine).  Most blogs are heavily reliant on my unreliable memories.  They were initially done to find a 'home' for my old boxes of slides which I had not looked at for years. Doing these blogs has brought back many very happy memories, and a few sad ones - I’ve been very fortunate in having various like-minded friends, some sadly no longer with us, whom I have usually been able to travel with.  Virtually all were budget trips -  if they had not been I doubt that I could have afforded to do half as many, and probably not had half as much fun long the way, although I would doubtless have seen more birds but you can't have everything.  Long service award goes to Nick Preston who I have been with on 25 (and counting) trips. 

Kagu, New Caledonia August 1998 (digitised print taken with an instamatic).  One of my all-time top 3 birds.  Giant Pitta (1987) and Wilson's Bird of Paradise (1993) are the others.

1974:  MAJORCA (October)

          brief mention in The 1970s: finding my feet - 1974 blog

1975:  CARMARGUE (May)
          included in The 1970s: Camargue, Shetland & Scillies in 1975 blog

1977:  MOROCCO (April)

             KENYA (December-January 1978)

1978:  THAILAND (December-January 1979)

1979:  ISRAEL (March/April)

            CANARIES (June/July)

             NEPAL (November-January 1980)

1980:  CANADA (May)

            THAILAND (December-January 1981)

1982: MALAYSIA (January/February)

            THAILAND (February)

            NEPAL (March/June)
          Jomson Trek

          Everest Trek

          Langtang Trek

            INDIA (June/July)


            VENEZUELA (December-February 1983)

1983:  KENYA (July/August)

1984:  PERU (July/August)

            BOTSWANA (December-January 1985) 


1985:  COSTA RICA (July/August)

1986:  AUSTRALIA (March/April)
             ECUADOR (July/August)     

1987:  MALAYSIA (July/August) 

1988: BRAZIL (July/August)

1989:  ICELAND (June)               

1990:  ARGENTINA (August)

1991:  SOUTH AFRICA (August)

1992:  INDONESIA Sulawesi & Halmahera (August)

1993:  INDONESIA Irian Jaya (August)

1995:  MADAGASCAR (August)

1996:  PHILIPPINES (April)

            NEW ZEALAND (August)   

1997:  VIETNAM (March/April)     

1998:  AUSTRALIA & NEW CALEDONIA (July/August)        

1999:  ECUADOR (August/September)    

2000:  CHINA Quinghai (June)


           GAMBIA (November)

2002:  CHILE (April)

2003:  JAPAN (January)

           CAMEROON (April)

2004:  CUBA (April)

            PAPUA NEW GUINEA (June)

2005:  TEXAS (Aprill)

           INDONESIA Sumatra & West Java (July)

2006:  PAPUA NEW GUINEA (August)

2007:  INDIA Eaglenest (April)          

2008:  PHILIPPINES (April)
            NAMIBIA (July/August)

2009:  VIETNAM (April)
          Cat Tien & Da Lat plateau

2010:  CHINA (May/June)
          Shanghai (Spoon-billed Sandpiper), Wuishan, Fuzhou & Xiaolongmen

          Xi’an & Yangxian (Crested Ibis)

          Pingtai (Jankowski’s Bunting)

             UGANDA (June)
          Mbamba (Shoebill), Kibale (Green-breasted Pitta) & Bwindi (African Green Broadbill)

2011:  ETHIOPIA (February)

            TAIWAN (April/May)

2012:  TURKEY (June)


          Nemrut Dagi

             MALAYSIA Sarawak & Sabah (July/August)
          Kuching, Kinabatangan River, Danum Valley, Sepilok and Mount Kinabalu

2013:  CORSICA (May)

             INDONESIA West Papua (August)

2014:  SPAIN Extremadura (April)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

mid July and not a lot happening

Thursday 17 July.  Two Ringed Plover on Southwick Beach this evening, no obvious chicks but hopefully they were on the lower part where one of the adults was.  Two Peregrines on the Power Station Chimney and a Sparrowhawk and at least 20 Swifts over the house.  They'll be gone when I get back and it'll be a long time before they return.  I'll just go and have another look, anything to put off repacking ...

Wednesday 16 July.  No sight or sound of any Ringed Plovers on the upper part of Southwick Beach on my way to or from work but I didn't stop. Hopefully they've moved.  An evening low tide visit to the Adur produced a single Whimbrel which soon flew off west calling.  A pleasant distraction from packing!

Tuesday 15 July.  A single vocal Ringed Plover on the upper part of Southwick Beach on my way to work and an adult and chick on my way home although I didn't stop on either occasion to look for more. 23 Swifts screaming over the house in the evening.

Monday 14 July.  A load of Swifts were screaming over the house as I got my bike out this morning but I couldn't be sure where the noise was coming from and failed to see them.  Two Ringed Plover were flying around agitatedly on Southwick Beach on my way to work, my first sighting for over two weeks so I had assumed they'd departed.  Certainly not as on my way home a vocal adult was shepherding two small chicks.  Brilliant.  Despite all the disturbance from beachcombers, dogs and sea defense work by heavy machinery they have hatched at least two chicks.  It is very early days but I hope their perseverance is rewarded. 

Frank Lambert is making his annual visit to the UK, between leading tours to exotic destinations (Borneo & Taiwan/SE China done, Sulawesi & Myanmar next, not a bit envious, no ...).  As the forecast was good we'd arranged to go up to Ashdown Forest to look for Nightjars.  John King met us on the way and we followed him to Hindleap where he'd seen Woodcock earlier in the year.  It was probably a bit late in the season and the deteriorating weather which came in sooner than expected can't have helped so it was no great surprise that we were not successful. Two Green Woodpeckers and a Buzzard were the only birds of note.  We relocated to Churlwood where we heard two distant Nightjars (and a Stonechat) as the light was going but failed to see them in the increasing gloom.  With very few insects flying in the strengthening wind we headed back to the cars, salvaging the day by hearing and getting silhouette views of a Nightjar by the road!

Sunday 13 July.  Two low tide visits to the Adur failed to produce yesterday's Yellow-legged Gull although a colour-ringed North Thames Herring Gull was present in the evening just ahead of the World Cup Final.  Again no waders at all.  In between Adur visits Megan, Vanessa (home for the weekend) and I went to Polsden Lacey north of Dorking - a rare venture out of the county.  The house was in impressive grounds although a long walk through decent looking woodland was almost birdless, not the best time of year or time of day.  A juvenile Green Woodpecker in the vegetable garden my best sighting.

North Thames Herring Gull T1DT

River Adur looking south from the Old Toll Bridge, few gulls in evidence but a bait digger not helping
Polsden Lacey

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


The following birding trips have been 'blogged'.  All the older ones use scanned slides or digitised prints of varying quality.  All are heavily reliant on unreliable memories as only for the 1982 Asian trip did I make anything other than very rudimentary diary entries.  The blogs are done mainly to find a 'home' for my boxes of old slides but may be of wider interest. Other trips will be added as and when time allows.

ARGENTINA:  August 1990
Shanghai (Spoon-billed Sandpiper), Wuishan & Fuzhou (Chinese Crested Tern)
Pingtai (Jankowski’s Bunting)

INDIA:  June/July 1982

INDONESIA:  August 1992  Sulawesi & Halmahera
                       August 1993 Irian Jaya
                       August 2013 West Papua (Irian Jaya)

ISRAEL:  March/April 1979

KENYA:  December 1977/January 1978
                July/August 1983

MADAGASCAR:  August 1995

MALAYSIA:  January/February 1982 West Malaysia
                      July/August 2012 Sarawak & Sabah
Kuching, Kinabatangan River, Danum Valley, Sepilok and Mount Kinabalu

MOROCCO:  April 1977

NEPAL:  November 1979-January 1980
                March/June 1982
Jomson Trek
Everest Trek
Langtang Trek

PHILIPPINES: Easter 1996
                           Easter 2008

SOUTH AFRICA:  August 1991

TAIWAN:  April/May 2011

THAILAND:   December 1978/January 1979
                      December 1980/January 1981            
                      February 1982

TURKEY:  June 2012
Nemrut Dagi

UGANDA:  June 2010
Mbamba (Shoebill), Kibale (Green-breasted Pitta) & Bwindi (African Green Broadbill)

VENEZUELA: December 1982/February 1983
Henri Pittier, the Andes and the Llanos
Bolivar and the north coast

VIETNAM:  April 2009
Cat Tien & Da Lat plateau 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Shoreham Yellow-legged Gull (12 July 2014)

Saturday 12 July.  An adult Yellow-legged Gull was the highlight of an evening low tide visit to the Adur opposite Shoreham airfield.  I was probably fortunate to see it as a biat-digger was on the sandbar and the few gulls that were roosting there (none with colour rings) soon flew off.  Up to 2007 an evening low-tide visit from early July to late September pretty much guaranteed this species but not any more as this is the first I've seen here for neary two years!  An earlier walk around Mill Hill with Megan produced just a Whitethroat and a male Yellowhammer.  Twenty Swifts over the road/house in the evening.

Yellow-legged Gull - red orbital ring just about visible in this image as is the darker mantle 
disappointingly this is the only digiscoped image I managed with its bill fully in view.  It is also the most blurred but brightness and thickness of the bill are apparent
another image where the red orbital ring can just about be discerned
the darker mantle isn't quite so obvious in this image, nor are the legs
despite the foreshortening the bright bill looks thick and blunt tipped and the head quite hefty
one of many Marbled Whites seen on Mill Hill although few appeared as tatty as this one

Monday-Friday 7-11 July.  Up to 18 Swifts daily over our road/house, two Stock doves visiting our bird table and a Peregrine on Southwick Power Station chimney on 7th and two on 8th.